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Rutgers releases Tim Pernetti’s letter of resignation

Apr 5, 2013, 1:51 PM EDT

Hours after it was announced that Tim Pernetti was no longer the athletic director at Rutgers as a result of the scandal involving head coach Mike Rice, the school released the letter of resignation Pernetti sent to school president Robert L. Barchi.

Dear Dr. Barchi:

I write in confirmation of our conversation earlier today during which we agreed that it was in the best interests of Rutgers University that I step down from my position as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. I do so reluctantly because I always have and always will love Rutgers. I want to thank the people who have supported me throughout my years as a student-athlete and Athletic Director and help them understand my reasoning in this situation.

My continued tenure as Athletic Director is no longer sustainable for the University which I attended and where a piece of me will always remain. In connection with the incidents involving former basketball Coach Mike Rice, as was the case with all other matters which I handled on behalf of the University, I always tried my best to do what is right. I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on the events which led to today. As you know, my first instincts when I saw the videotape of Coach Rice’s behavior was to fire him immediately. However, Rutgers decided to follow a process involving university lawyers, human resources professionals, and outside counsel. Following review of the independent investigative report, the consensus was that university policy would not justify dismissal. I have admitted my role in, and regret for, that decision, and wish that I had the opportunity to go back and override it for the sake of everyone involved.

I trust that my tenure at Rutgers will not be judged by this one incident. I am proud of my efforts to lead Rutgers into the Big Ten, and of all of the accomplishments of our student-athletes in the classroom and on the field of play. I want to thank our great fans, the hardest working staff in collegiate athletics, and every one of our fine student-athletes. It has been my great pleasure to serve my alma mater.

Sincerely,

Tim Pernetti
Class of 1993

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

  1. mancave001 - Apr 5, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Class guy who made a bad decision and now admits it. And no, I’m not Rutgers or college hoops fan at all.

    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 5, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      But, it wasn’t his decision to keep Rice. He recommended Rice be fired.

      Yes, agreed. Class guy.

  2. patthehockeyfan - Apr 5, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    “As you know, my first instincts when I saw the videotape of Coach Rice’s behavior was to fire him immediately. However, Rutgers decided to follow a process involving university lawyers, human resources professionals, and outside counsel. Following review of the independent investigative report, the consensus was that university policy would not justify dismissal. I have admitted my role in, and regret for, that decision, and wish that I had the opportunity to go back and override it for the sake of everyone involved.”

    Yikes! Pernetti was, in essence, fired for making the correct suggestion and being overridden. Talk about wrongful termination!

    Barchi DEFINITELY needs to go. And, GO NOW! Clear the stink completely out of the place and start anew.

    • stugotz99 - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Wrongful termination? He resigned, no? He may have a lot of heat dumped down on him, but he chose to go along with it.

      For the record, no one has yet mentioned his compensation in consideration for his agreement to go easily. Trust me on this, he WILL be getting paid to go away and he won’t be losing his home to foreclosure any time soon.

      On the other hand, do I think Barchi is complicit in the whole thing? You bet I do. It’s just that he has some level of plausible deniability and he also had the ability to pay someone to go away.

  3. rayburns - Apr 5, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    That one sentence, my first instincts when I saw the videotape of Coach Rice’s behavior was to fire him immediately. However, Rutgers decided to follow a process involving university lawyers, human resources professionals, and outside counsel just may have sealed the deal for President Barchi….

    • stugotz99 - Apr 5, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      Actually, it’s the “as you know…” part of that sentence that intrigues me.

  4. stugotz99 - Apr 5, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    For purposes of conversation, let’s see if we can agree to this: Pernetti WANTS you to believe that he was the white knight who got co-opted and overridden and he WANTS you to believe that he is not the fall guy even though he was a good soldier and did what he was told.

    We weren’t there. All we have here is his obviously self-protecting spin on the subject. Maybe he’s right. He wouldn’t be the first person who took the fall for someone else’s bad judgement, and he sure won’t be the last.

    Then again, I have seen in 30+ years of corporate life a whole lot of people who spin things this way or that way because it saves face. And, I have seen a whole lot of people who took a fall because someone else had the mantle of plausible deniability.

    It’s really hard to tell. Maybe we will know the truth in a few weeks or in a few days, but until someone lays the whole thing out in the sunlight, all we have is the anguished word of a (possibly innocent/possibly guilty) guy who got run over by an ugly situation and who is clearly pointing fingers at everyone else, right or wrong. We’ll see.

  5. barnesaintnoble - Apr 5, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    That’s BS that he had to resign. He was an athlete at Rutgers and I believe he 100% had Rutgers best interest no matter what. I wonder if this would have ended differently if Pernetti showed up at basketball practice with James Gandolfini and they started throwing basketballs at Coach Rice. I imagine they’d let him know that next time they wouldn’t be firing basketballs and that they’d be at an abandoned dock on the Hudson. That would have been the most New Jersey thing ever.

  6. staff2cj - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    I bet the Big 10 got involved in some capacity…This really hurts their image too.

    • stugotz99 - Apr 5, 2013 at 3:12 PM

      The Big 10? Come on, let’s hear THIS one!

  7. montanecap - Apr 5, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Hard to believe he would have resigned if he had reommended Rice’s firing and been outvoted. My guess is that he has more culpability with respect to the investigative report than he is admitting. Otherwise, he would have had a wonderful wrongful termination lawsuit against the university if he had been fired. BTW, I would like to see what “university policy” wouldn’t justify dismissal of Rice. Now THAT’S a policy that needs to be changed!

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